How to Maximize Your Plant Growth with CO2

Plant growth requires a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide (CO2). At the center of every plant cell is an atom of carbon, which the plant has absorbed from the surrounding atmosphere. When all other growth influencing factors are kept in their ideal ranges, CO2 becomes the limiting factor. This means as you increase the CO2, you will also increase growth rates and yields.

The ideal level of CO2 supplementation to maximize plant growth in a well maintained garden is generally 1500 ppm

In one final twist of irony, as you begin to increase carbon dioxide levels to maximize plant growth you will reach a point where temperature becomes the limiting factor. In order to benefit from the highest levels of CO2 supplementation (1500-2000 ppm), you actually need to run your garden area warmer than normal (80-85 degrees). On average, plants will also require an extra 30 watts of light/sq.ft. (80-100 watts/sq.ft.). Plants will use extra water and nutrients under these conditions, so make sure they are available!

This has one implication which may offer you (the indoor gardener) a very nice solution to one of your most difficult problems. If all other factors are perfect in your garden EXCEPT your temperature, you may be able to maximize plant growth AND solve your heat problem at the same time with the addition of CO2.